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Star Trek Discovery: Mirrors

“The light of hope shines through even the darkest nights.”

This episode, like this season, and the show at large revolves around the idea that we always have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and make better choices. Both Michael and Book have each been down this is road. Now they’re determined to show others the way.

It was Michael’s journey from traitor to Discovery’s Captain that led her to offer Rayner another option than a forced retirement. At first, Rayner seemed to consider it as a means to stay in the fight. A fight he was determined to win, despite Michael’s weaknesses. He now appears to recognize the offer for the second chance opportunity that it is.

This realization unnerves him. The age-old argument between the Captain and their Number One regarding away missions took on a different resonance in this episode. It wasn’t the usual argument about protecting the Captain from avoidable risks. It was about his insecurity. Comfortable might not be the right word for captaining a ship in a time of war, but at least he was on sure footing. Taking command of the Discovery during peacetime, yet with the fate of the universe at stake, has Rayner a bit flummoxed. But as I’ve stated previously, Michael’s faith in Rayner is not misplaced.

Despite what Moll may think of Book, he considers her family. And he is determined that she is as deserving of a second chance as he is. The show has focused on their career as couriers rather than the illegal scavenging they were doing when we met them. We’ve also been reminded multiple times that they have never killed unless they were forced to. Making them worthy candidates for redemption. It will probably take them till the final episode, but it's not a stretch to believe that when they realize their quest could end in the destruction of the universe, they will do the right thing.

On the flip side, we’ve known since their introduction there was more to Moll and L’ak than the scavengers they appeared to be. If for no other reason than their discussion about the Progenitors’ tech freeing them from the need to be on the run made no sense when it is the reason The Federation is on their tail to begin with. This episode answers many of the questions we’ve had percolating since the premiere.

I wish we had gotten more time to see Moll and L’ak’s relationship develop. If given my druthers I would have spent the whole episode on their origin story. If for no other reason than to learn more about Breen culture. They have always been a bit of a mystery. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time we’ve actually seen their face, either of them.

I have so many questions. At the top of my list would be, why is only one face acceptable? And why hide either face behind a mask? But there’s also, what did Moll hope to gain by diluting the dilithium? How was L’ak helping her? And what was L’ak’s failing that he was sent to the shuttle bay as punishment to begin with?

It’s worth noting that despite Moll’s professed hatred for her father, she was still searching for the utopian colony in the Gamma Quadrant he spoke of. The bond between a parent and child isn’t easily broken, regardless of how dysfunctional it may be. It is what makes her listen to Book’s arguments and also why she refuses to believe them.

The lockdown of sickbay with the convenient destruction of the control panel not only provided Book with the chance to connect with Moll, it also gave Michael an opportunity to learn more about L’ak. The knowledge that he would give up the search for the Progenitor’s tech and go to prison as long as he and Moll could be together is bound to be useful as this story unfolds.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Culber before I signed off. We’ve known that hosting Jinaal was going to effect our favorite doctor. But I doubt anyone had spiritual awakening on our bingo cards. And given his penchant for putting everyone else’s needs ahead of his own, it’s no wonder he’s been suffering through this process alone. However, given Stamets’ comments in last week’s episode Culber’s journey and Stamets’ may not be as divergent as Culber believes. The quest for the Progenitor’s tech has them both searching for answers in the unlikeliest, at least for them, places.

Which leads to my biggest issue with this episode (this whole season, if I’m being honest) is that there's been no discussion around what should be done with the Progenitor’s tech once it’s been found. I understand the need to locate it in order to keep it out of dangerous hands. However, Jinaal and the rest of his cohort hid this tech from everyone, including the Federation, for a reason. The fact is, no one has even broached the idea that maybe this technology should be destroyed rather than run the risk of it falling into the wrong hands. Given the Federations’s ethos for exploration (plus their healthy dose of idealism), I realize it would never happen. But not entertaining the idea seems naive. Not to mention, on a narrative level, it leaves multiple opportunities for conflict unexplored. However, this is more my personal opinion than a fault with the show.

With my Hat of Objectivity firmly in place, I have to admit this is a solid episode. It set up the required dominoes for future episodes to knock down. Is it next Thursday yet?

3.5 out of 5 mysterious vials

Parting Thoughts:

What is a warp pod, anyway? And how does it differ from an escape pod?

The history of the ISS Enterprise is long and, if not storied, it is at least infamous enough to warrant attention. At least by non-Terran standards. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/ISS_Enterprise_(NCC-1701)

It was also nice to get a bit of closure regarding Terran Saru.


Book: “No matter how bad things get, the one thing you always have is a choice.”

Michael: “You have permission to be blunt.”

Book: “Flying deaf and blind. Good times.”

Rayner: “I don’t need to know how the cake is boiled.”
Adira: “Kellerun boil their cakes?”
Rayner: “Don’t knock it till you try it.”

Michael: “You are a hero among men.”

Moll: “Hi, I’m Moll. I like latinum and long walks on the beach.”

Moll: “I know what it’s like to be on the outside, alone.”

Michael: “Love is a powerful thing. Don’t let it take you down the wrong road. You both still have choices.”

Book: “I really do want to help you.”
Moll: “Says the man who took my father’s name.”

Moll: “I could kill you right now.”
Book: “That’s a choice. I hope you’ll make a different one.”

L’ak: “If we deny half our nature, we deny it all.”

Primarch: “There is only one path to redemption.”

Book: “Hit it?”
Michael: “Feels weird. Let’s just fly.”

Book: “What happens when we finally put this thing together?”
Michael: “I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Shari. A lot of good points. I'm starting to wonder (I have no idea -- I don't do spoilers) if maybe the finale will be similar to the big time jump, as in a huge jump to the future with the Progenitor data to save the universe?

    It was interesting to finally get info about the Breen, but I'm still not really warming to Bonnie and Clyde. At least it was a step in the right direction, showing where their relationship came from and what they mean to each other.


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